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Date of Issue: May 25, 2006

GSR legal woes mount

The once promising real estate world of GSR Development LLC appears to be entangled in legal difficulties.

Already facing four separate lawsuits, the company was slapped last week with a foreclosure action by Synovus Bank of Tampa for the Hibiscus condominium project on Fifth Street South in Bradenton Beach.

The bank claims a note for $2.1 million was due from GSR on Jan. 6, 2006, but has not yet been paid.

In addition to the bank action, Sherry Gray filed a lawsuit two weeks ago against the company, claming it owes her $67,500.

Before these latest actions, GSR LLC and principals Robert Byrne and Steve Noriega already faced a slew of lawsuits over several uncompleted projects, including the Villa Rosa gated subdivision in Anna Maria, the Rosa del Mar condominium project in Bradenton Beach, and a condominium development on Longboat Key.

 In other legal actions filed against GSR earlier this year, Longboat Partners LLC claim Byrne and Noriega are in default on an $800,000 note the company gave them in July 2004.

Ed Furfey of New Jersey filed a lawsuit in February against Byrne and Noriega, claiming that while he is an equal partner in GSR with Byrne and Noriega, the two sold a piece of GSR’s Villa Rosa property on South Bay Boulevard in Anna Maria without his knowledge and consent and below market value. The property in question was sold to Bon Eau Enterprises LLC of Sarasota.

Furfey, however, was forced to add Byrne and Noriega as GSR partners in a lawsuit he filed against Bon Eau. Furfey claimed in that legal action that the "sale" was nothing more than a loan by Bon Eau at illegal interest rates and GSR is entitled to damages.